An Afghan freedom fighter last night told an audience of 70 that the Soviet Union systematically employs outlawed weapons to "demoralize" the Afghani people, and called for U.S. military aid and supplies to help combat the Soviet threat.
The 23-year-old rebel, who has been visiting college campuses across the United States under the pseudonym Hamed Khanjar, told the Science Center crowd that "Afghanistan has never before been conquered, and I believe that Afghanistan will be free again."
Khanjar, speaking at the invitation of the Republican Club, described the toy bombs and mines used by the Soviets against Afghan citizens in an "unsuccessful attempt to demoralize the Afghani people." Such weapons, which maim and mutilate rather than kill, have been banned by the Geneva Convention.
He cited other Soviet atrocities, including setting children on fire, throwing Afghani citizens out of helicopters, and bombing villages.
Khanjar recently testified before Congress to obtain U.S. military assistance, medical supplies, clothing, and food to counterbalance the superiority of the Soviet military forces. Khanjar said the Reagan Administration is not currently providing any "effective support" for the Afghan rebels.
"The love of freedom is strong among the people of Afghanistan. We will struggle for freedom to the death," Khanjar said.
"Khanjar's message is important and clear, yet the Afghan rebels' cause gets the least amount of attention and support in this country," said Republican Club President Kris Kobach '88.
Former Republican Club president Mark P. Lagon '86 added, "I find it incredibly ironic that there is so much on campus about South Africa and Nicaragua, but we ignore this country where millions are being brutally killed and driven out."
A short film, "Afghanistan: Freedom's Frontier," provided by the Committee for a Free Afghanistan, followed last night's speech.